Citizen development in the C-suite: The new frontier

  • Mary Hain
  • Life at Now
  • Now on Now
  • 2023
March 10, 2023

Citizen development in the C-suite: Jacqui Canney and Gina Mastantuono

Thanks to a shortage of software developers, citizen development is finding its way into the C-suite. IDC forecasts a deficit of 4 million full-time developers by 2025.

As most organizations digitally transform, their operations are increasingly software-driven—think cloud computing and AI. That propels greater efficiency and productivity. But with a lack of skilled developers to build the apps that support the software, companies lose the ability to rapidly innovate and sustain their competitive edge. That’s where citizen development comes in.

Citizen development to the rescue

At ServiceNow, we’ve been steadily investing in an alternative to traditional software development. Citizen development empowers employees with limited or no software development skills to design and build apps using a low-code development tool such as App Engine.

Employees automate the manual tasks that hinder productivity, freeing them to innovate and support strategic goals. No software development skills are required.

When Chief People Officer Jacqui Canney joined ServiceNow, she challenged an HR team member with no developer experience to build a learning and development hub using App Engine. The initial design took less than a month. HR and IT team members provided feedback to enhance the content and user experience as the hub expanded.

Because we can innovate on the platform, our team has greater agility and can more easily adapt as employee needs evolve. - Jacqui Canney, Chief People Officer, ServiceNow

“Low-code development creates an exciting dynamic by exposing nontech professionals to IT practices to address employee needs and pain points quickly and creatively,” Canney says.

“Because we can innovate on the platform, our team has greater agility and can more easily adapt as employee needs evolve. We can enhance and scale HR processes because we are the developers and the users.”

Finance goes all-in on citizen development

ServiceNow Chief Financial Officer Gina Mastantuono also relies on citizen development for her team’s operational efficiency and success. To put the power of change in the hands of the finance team, she even invested in a formal citizen development program.

“Citizen development provides exciting new avenues for our team members to apply their creativity and develop solutions to create even more robust processes,” Mastantuono explains.

Since spring 2022, 15% of the finance team has trained to become citizen developers. To date, the team has more than 20 apps in production and development. The apps include:

  • An inventory management system for real-time inventory usage, procurement, and cash flow

  • A tax portal/calendar to centrally manage global compliance obligations

  • A portal for planning and monitoring workplace maintenance tasks

  • Sustainability tags to manage supplier attributes in real time

Centralized workflows are replacing siloed processes and email threads, improving our overall efficiency. - Gina Mastantuono, CFO, ServiceNow

“One of the unexpected benefits has been the impact on our culture,” Mastantuono says. “People are much more willing to consider quick, automated solutions over manual fixes. Centralized workflows are replacing siloed processes and email threads, improving our overall efficiency.”

Leading the pack

The ServiceNow C-suite is heavily invested in empowering employees to automate everyday tasks using low-code tools such as App Engine. Who better to develop apps than the people with the most knowledge about the processes?

“Citizen development is a great opportunity for any organization,” Canney says. “Any employee, including me, is empowered to learn and grow.”  

Benefits aren’t limited to learning and growth. In addition, pro developers can focus on more complex apps. Employees without coding experience can solve their own problems while expanding their skills and broadening their career paths. And the ServiceNow C-suite can breathe a small sigh of relief that innovation isn’t slowing down.

Join a company where you can be empowered to learn and grow and make a difference. Explore ServiceNow careers.

© 2023 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


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